New Jersey health officials say a second woman suspected of being infected with measles has been identified in South Jersey and may have exposed others in Burlington and Camden Counties.
The woman developed symptoms after exposure to a woman who acquired measles while traveling internationally. That first case was reported to the public June 22.
People who visited the following locations at these times should call their doctor to discuss their potential risk of developing the disease:
- Anjali Power Yoga, 130 Haddon Ave., Westmont, on June 26 between 5:45 and 9:10 p.m.
- Virtua Marlton Hospital, 90 Brick Rd., Marlton, on June 27 between 6:40 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Measles symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, watery red eyes, and a rash that usually appears between three and five days after the other symptoms begin. The rash usually starts as flat, red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward.
Measles infections in pregnant women can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, or a low-birth-weight baby. The measles can also cause serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis, or swelling of the brain. People at risk of infection for the most part are individuals who have not been vaccinated — including babies too young to get the vaccine — or haven’t had the measles.
Measles is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. People can also become ill when they come in contact with saliva or mucus of an infected person.
People exposed to the new case, if infected, could develop symptoms as late as July 18.
State health officials are recommending that people with symptoms contact a health provider before going to an emergency room, medical office or urgent care facility in order not to expose others to infection.
“It is critical that New Jersey residents and visitors are up to date on their vaccinations to avoid the possibility of becoming ill with measles,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal. “As we can see, exposure to someone with measles may result in transmission, so getting vaccinated is the best defense.”
The health department is working with Virtua and local health officials to notify people who may have been exposed during the time the individual was infectious.
The Philadelphia region also experienced an outbreak of mumps cases in March and April that affected more than two dozen people in Chester County, Montgomery County and the state of Delaware.
An Independence Blue Cross study released earlier this year showed a national increase in the rate of parents refusing to get kids vaccinated. The refusal rate went from 2.5 percent in children born in 2010 to 4.2 percent for youngsters born in 2013. Philadelphia’s rate of medical claims coded with a parental refusal was 3.8 percent over the six-year study, higher than the national rate of 3.3 percent. Reasons for refusal can range; some objections are made on religious grounds while other instances occur when a parent believes a baby is too young for multiple vaccines, despite evidence showing that the approved vaccine schedule is safe.